Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

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Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? (French pronunciation: ​[vule vu kuʃe avɛk mwa (sə swaʁ)], "Do you want to go to bed with me (tonight)?") is a French phrase that has become well known in the English-speaking world through popular songs. It is perhaps best known from the song "Lady Marmalade," first popularized in 1974 by the group Labelle. David Frizzell and Shelly West recorded a country music song in the 1980s called "Cajun Invitation" which contains the line,"voulez-vous coucher avec moi" but that was unrelated to "Lady Marmalade". Later in 2001, singers Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink did a remake of Lady Marmalade for the Moulin Rouge! film's soundtrack.

The phrase also appears in Tennessee Williams' 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire. Also, in 1973, former porn star-turned-Italian politician Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) achieved fame with a radio show called "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" on Radio Luna. It was used in All Saints' double A-Side to "Under the Bridge" which was also entitled "Lady Marmalade" (but was considerably different from the original), The Whitlams song "Love is Everywhere" on the 1996 album Eternal Nightcap and Aquarium's similar song, from their 2006 album Carefree Russian Tramp, as well as in a remix of Swizz Beatz's 2007 song "It's Me Bitches", and German Euro disco group Bad Boys Blue used the phrase in their hit from the 80's hit Hungry for love.

In 1995, the British soap opera Coronation Street featured a memorable humorous moment when Ken Barlow teaches French to dizzy blonde Raquel Watts;

Raquel: "I met a French man in Corfu who taught me how to say isn't it a lovely day today."

Ken: "Right, let's put a sentence together. I want you to say to me in French 'Hello Ken. My name is Raquel. Isn't it a lovely day today?'

Raquel: "Ooh, clever. Right, here goes. Bonjour Ken. Je m'appelle Raquel. Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"[1]

The origins of the phrase in English, however, can be traced back to the early 20th century. John Dos Passos' 1920 novel Three Soldiers features an Americanised version, "Voulay vous couchay aveck moy?" A poem by E. E. Cummings published in 1922 and known by its first line "little ladies more" contains the phrase "voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" twice.

The tenth season episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" of the animated series South Park featured Cartman persuading one of the boys, Clyde, to join the World of Warcraft to take down this strong player by mentioning that if Clyde went back in time and stop Hitler, would he do it (except Cartman wouldn't because he admired him). When Clyde insists on giving up, Cartman mentions that when Hitler rose to power, the people that gave up were the French; he then taunts Clyde by saying if he's French and saying "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, Clyde?" Clyde, irked, finally relents by joining the group: "Alright, Alright, I'll do it!"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richardson, Anne (3 December 2010). "Corrie's Best Characters: No 6 - Raquel Watts". AOL Television. AOL. Retrieved 5 January 2011.